I think a car free lifestyle promotes less waste of natural resources simply because we humans don't like to waste our personal energy. Humans are naturally "lazy". At one time that was a survival advantage. But not in modern society. Wasting gas is different. That's not personal energy. It's a magical juice you poor into your gas tank and then suddenly traveling and hauling goods is free.
But when people need to exert their personal muscles in meeting their needs, they'll naturally consider the cost vs. benefit. This leads to conservation of resources. I've noticed that since becoming car free, I pay more attention to carefully grocery shopping so I have the food I need, but won't be throwing out food.
If I need to put food in the trash can, I'm struck by the thought of how silly it was to buy it. My use of personal energy makes no sense there. I'm riding my bicycle to the grocery store, spending my hard earned money, hauling all my goods by bicycle, unpacking them into the cooler, then I compost the food and haul plastic/glass/etc. to the recycling center when I go to the market again. What good is that?
I think it was easier to throw food away when not car free because I was not so invested in personal energy for acquiring that food.
How do you see this? What other kinds of economy might be naturally encouraged by car free lifestyle?